You’ll have to wait another year to read the Super Bowl programming tip I wrote for today. Seth Godin‘s blog is better.
“One way the tribe identifies is through the observance of a holiday, of a group custom, of the thing we all do together that proves we are in sync. People thrive on mass celebration, but as our culture has fragmented, these universal observances are harder to find. We used to watch the same TV shows at the same time, eat the same foods, drive the same car. Given a choice, though, many people take the choice – and so, as the culture fragments, we move away from the center and to the edges.
Just play the songs your listeners love. Don’t play the songs they don’t love. And play those songs over and over and over again.
Talk to your listeners the way their friends talk to friends, not like strangers.
Act like you enjoy being with your listeners. Maybe they’ll enjoy being with you.
Don’t make your listeners eat all their vegetables every time. Every now and then give them some candy.
Give your listeners presents and throw a party for them and invite all their friends. They’ll feel special. Make fun noises that you wouldn’t do any other time.
While in high school my daughter worked at the Build-A-Bear workshop in the mall. They often had her stand out in the mall walkway holding a bear and welcoming people to the store.
I wonder what would happen in our format if people actually felt welcomed rather than excluded.
Below is the sign at the entrance to a very large church near my home. Maybe this is part of the reason they are a very large church.
Welcoming people seems to be a pretty big priority for them.
For a radio station to grow it has to be designed to welcome new listeners.
There are a couple of ways to do this.
My pal Frank Reed has recently published his first book, “Frankly Speaking“, sharing interesting details of his faith and radio journey. It’s a nice read. I recommend you buy 37 of them.
Frank was kind enough to include a reference to a visit we had when I returned home to Texas one summer (page 232, if you’re taking notes).
Frank and I had sort of become groupies of each others’ stations; me becoming more and more interested in Christian radio, and Frank becoming intrigued with how the station I was programming in his hometown of Orlando had reached #1 in the ratings with the first “Safe for the Whole Family” position. (As I recall it was Alan Mason and me sitting around the airport brainstorming ideas which we wrote down on the back of an envelope. Very Abraham Lincoln-ish, don’tcha think?)
￼The point of my bringing this up in a Frost Advisory is not really to give a cheap plug to Frank’s book (although I don’t mind doing that) but to convey a larger story that could be helpful to your station.
My daughter handed me this note. There was a game on or something so I forgot to read it.
Whadareyoukidding? I tore it open immediately. I would have stopped traffic to read it. Nothing could have prevented me from reading this note from my daughter.
Our relationship has been formed on twenty-five years of common experiences, perspectives, and relationships . I was the first to see her and I was the one to walk her down the aisle. Simply said, what is important to her is important to me.
Maybe there is something our radio stations can learn from my experience.
Let’s see, my daughter’s note was…
“There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” – J.K. Rowling
It was on a visit to the Coppola Wineries in Sonoma County, California, when I had lunch at the great restaurant there. There was a bottle of hot sauce on the table called Mamarella. No big deal, you can find hot sauce anywhere.
But I was curious how this came to be here, and found if you turn the bottle around and read the story of the hot sauce, you have a whole different picture about it.
The beginning of a new calendar is traditionally a time to reflect on the previous year and make some decisions on what you’ll change so that you’ll have different and, hopefully, better results.
Losing weight, stopping smoking, and equipping your skills for a better job are fairly common New Year’s Resolutions.
I think that the beginning of a new year is also an appropriate time for the annual check up of your station’s music architecture to determine if it’s actually doing what you want it to.
The story is told that Vince Lombardi began every training camp with the words, “Gentlemen, this is a football!” Likewise, here are some basics at a very tactical and execution level:
In last week’s Frost Advisory #184 – Funeral for a Friend, Part One, I shared my recent experience of attending the funeral of a friend and seeing his very own words projected onto large video screens. Despite the bumpy road in last days of his life journey those ten-foot tall words (“You’ve never locked eyes with someone who doesn’t matter to Jesus”) still conveyed truth.
I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who pondered how my own words would be remembered.
I also thought about the words people hear from our stations. What words define us? What words do people remember? What words have meaning?
I lost a friend this week. He was only 36.
I didn’t want to go to his funeral. But I’m glad I did. Really glad.
My friend was a gifted communicator and his very words were projected onto large screens to the thousands at his service. Some of the words I had never heard before, but some were so familiar to me that, frankly, I didn’t really realize that those were first his.
I then began to think about my own words. Are my words ones that lift others up and, as was said of my friend, show that I see “the butterfly in the caterpillar”?
Then I began to think about the words people hear from our stations. What words define us? What words do people remember? What words have meaning?
There are lots of bad radio stations out there. Fortunately, there are also more than a couple of good ones.
At the good stations listeners hear who they are. At the bad ones listeners are faceless and passive audiences that are seldom even considered. (I’ve found that these are the stations where you can’t even hear the station. But don’t get me started.)
Inevitably the less we consider the listeners the fewer of them there are to consider.